• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2021

Course Overview

Contemporary creative practice embraces a huge variety of different disciplines. We encourage you to use a broad range of techniques, becoming more analytical and inquisitive in art, design and media.

During the year, you will work on practical studio-based projects, which will be developed with critiques, lectures, workshop activities, and a gallery visit. You will be able to identify your particular creative strengths and produce increasingly personal, informed and sophisticated outcomes within your chosen discipline.

Developed to help you transition into university learning

The Foundation course is divided into three main sections: the Exploratory, Pathway and Confirmatory Stages.

The Exploratory stage considers the inquisitive, open-minded and experimental use of media and materials, and explores different approaches to researching and gathering information. During this stage you are ‘inducted’ into many of the workshops available at the University.

The Pathway stage explores a series of more focussed projects across five options – Fine Art, Lens Based & Digital Media, Visual Communications, 3D Design, and Fashion &Textiles. During this stage you can. begin to build a specialised, well-presented and thoughtful portfolio of work.

During the Confirmatory Stage you would work within one of the specialist option areas, working on a long project. The final project will highlight your creative abilities, harnessing your interests and give you experience of working on a large project.

Dip. in Foundation Studies in Art, Design and Media

Course Details

We make sure our students get good contact time with our staff, creating a more intimate and friendly work environment. We have a wide range of well-equipped workshops where you can use a variety of 3D fabrication processes using wood, metals, plastics, as well as a diverse range of printmaking techniques to support studio activity. You’ll also be able to study in our computer suites, photography studios and library.

Make the most of our expert lecturers

Foundation Course staff are also practicing artists and designers. They know all about contemporary creative practice and are always keen to provide the best and most current advice to students. As our undergraduate staff work alongside our foundation staff, we give you the chance to join in with guest lectures, giving you an insight into university learning.

Form a lasting network with your fellow students

So you make the most of your studies, we give you one-to-one teaching. We organise the course into close-knit groups so you always work alongside the same people, making friendships that continue long after you graduate. At Bucks, even after you leave you’re still part of our community. Our graduates form a network throughout the creative industry in London and beyond.

What are the course entry requirements?

One A-level and three GCSEs at Grade A-C or equivalent. A portfolio of work and interview will also be necessary.

Your portfolio

Your portfolio is a collection of work that represents your creative potential and demonstrates your ability and interest in your chosen subject. The requirement to produce a portfolio of work is the linking factor between all art and design courses. The quality of your portfolio is an important factor in the offer of a place on a course.

Useful advice

When preparing your portfolio, think of your audience, your strengths, and what you are trying to express to the interviewer. Bear in mind that when you come in for an interview and a portfolio review, the interviewer will be new to you and your work so ensure that everything is clear and easy to view. Show your work off in the best possible way and avoid any means that complicates or obscures it.

What should be included?

Your portfolio should include the strongest examples of your creative work; follow your instincts but also seek advice from your teachers. Portfolios can vary from student to student but typically a portfolio should contain work from a variety of media. Quality is better than quantity so only include 20 or 30 pieces that you consider best shows off your diversity. If you have created 3D pieces of work, photographs of these can also be included. Try also drawing the same subject matter in a variety of ways, such as by changing scale, composition and media.

How should your portfolio be presented?

Try to make your portfolio as clear and as organised as possible. If the work does not explain itself, include a label which details the title of the piece. It could also be useful to include a date when the work was completed. It is advisable to present the work in related groups, rather than in chronological order, as this will show how your idea developed. Supporting material and sketchbooks You should bring along your sketchpads and notebooks. These will allow the interviewer to get a glimpse into how you think creatively and discover how you have developed your ideas. We don't expect these to be neat, tidy or organised. We also don't expect these to contain finished ideas. It is advantageous to support your portfolio with any written work, such as relevant essays. We also like to see documentation of journeys, visits and activities outside your main studies, which may have inspired you.

The portfolio review

It is likely that the interviewer will look at your portfolio with you so be sure that you are able to discuss each piece of work: why you chose that topic, what you were trying to achieve, and the process you went through to achieve the final product. We are happy to view a digital portfolio, but please notify us in advance.

Course Modules

Year 1 Modules

  • Unit 01: Information and Research in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 02: Recording and Responding in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 03: Experimentation with Materials and Processes in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 04: Personal Preparation and Progression in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 05: Information and Interpretation in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 06: Combined Experimental Studies in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 07: Media Development in Art, Design and Media
  • Unit 08: Personal Confirmatory Study in Art, Design and Media


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £5,500

Full Time International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £12,375

Students under 19 on 31 August of the year of entry will not be charged a tuition fee.

Students aged 19 or over on 31 August of the year of entry will have to pay 2021/22 tuition fee.

Applicants should note that this course is a further education course and therefore student loans (for tuition and living costs) are not available for this course.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.